Wednesday, September 16, 2015

School's Back From Summer!

When I think of any first day of school that I’ve ever experienced, I think about showing up to school with all of my new school supplies, meeting my teacher, and getting to see who is in my class. Surprise, there’s a first for everything and our first day of school in Ghana was nothing like this. 

On our first day of school about a third of the enrolled kids showed up, some were registered that day, and some are still being registered. The majority of the kids showed up with no school supplies with only a handful bringing a pencil or two. Not even all of the teachers reported to school last week. While it’s easy to get frustrated about things like this, it’s very much a part of their culture and not out of the ordinary for them at all. That being said, we still used our time to observe the minimal teaching that was occurring and began to make notes of things that would improve their teaching or enhance their classroom.

Anna and I have both already been asked numerous times to teach for these teachers.  We both are itching to be up in front of a classroom, but we have not done so yet. The reason being is because our goal in being here is to improve the school so it can experience long-term success. For one or both of us to teach for the year we are here is great for us and great for our class of students, but once we leave nothing has changed. Therefore our goal is to primarily work with our teachers, many of who have had no formal teacher training, and get them teaching in meaningful, effective ways.

Therefore after a week of observing and no opportunity to formally teach, we were ready on Sunday evening to deliver our first workshop.  Almost all of our teachers showed up and we had the opportunity to present teaching strategies to them. Our focus was on general teaching strategies and reading instruction. We talked about the importance of allowing students to collaborate and learn from one another. We talked about ensuring students have visual representations of information to offer them another way to process it. We talked about making learning fun and meaningful so it was more than lectures and notes.

This made what I would consider our “real, first day of school” on Monday a success. We had the majority of our students in attendance. All of our teachers were here. And about half of the students had supplies.

Even more so, Anna and I were excited to see our teachers working to implement the strategies we introduced in their classrooms.  On Monday, one of our teachers had students in teams and they were playing a game to see who could make the most small words out of one big word. On Tuesday, one our teachers had three different representations to a math problem on the board and was allowing students to explain how to solve the problem. Today, one of our teachers asked a question and gave students time to talk to their table mate about the question before sharing with the class. These might seem like small, menial changes, but we are confident that with continued workshops and help, our teachers are committed to teaching in the way that will help their students learn best.

Anna and I are going to continue spending our time observing in the school. We also have started teaching a lesson here or there in the various classrooms so the teachers can watch and ask us questions about how we would teach it. As supplies are a constant uphill battle that the school fights, Anna and I are continuing to work on raising funds to help be able to secure textbooks and supplies for our students. If you are willing and able to donate to this cause please visit or email us at

Anna and I have already begun to plan our next workshop and are excited to see the growth and change in the teachers over the next several months.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

It’s hard to believe but this blog concludes our series of introduction posts. Our words do not do any of these kids justice. There is no way to effectively convey just how loving, free-spirited, happy, and helpful these kids we get to spend day in and day out with are. Although some days are harder than others, nothing compares to what the majority of these amazing kids have been through.

These last five girls have had their fair share of troubles and are just looking to be girls. They are all between the ages of 13-17. These girls, Madeline, Abbigail, Gifty, Sarah, and Theresa, all moved to the mission center from Cape Coast, Ghana at some point over the summer. They were brought to Asikuma by a couple that were doing missionary work for Acts 2 Collective (formerly Kingdom Cares International) over the summer. These girls were found partaking in sex trafficking/prostitution and identified as girls who had a desire to turn their lives around. Some of the girls were sold by their parents. Some had no other means to feed themselves or meet their daily needs. Some didn’t know any different. Regardless of how they got in that situation, they are now in a safe, loving environment that is offering them opportunities they used to only be able to dream of.

One of these opportunities is that of an education. Although I know I am extremely lucky to have a college degree, it is not something I think about on a daily basis. My education was always something that was a given. It was expected. Therefore, it is extremely powerful to see these girls who had little to no prior education excited to learn. They attend school everyday and work hard. In the evenings they are often asking for help, more homework, or additional classes. Their skills have already improved in the short time that we’ve been here and now with school in full swing we are anxious to see the progress they will continue to make.

They have also been a huge blessing in helping out around the mission center. Honesty, it’s hard to picture how this place ran without them. They can often be found washing the laundry, cooking food, helping the younger kids, or cleaning.  They have a lot of responsibilities that the other kids don’t have and they rise to the occasion (most of the time, after all they are teenagers J).

Anna and I are both excited to continue to get to know these girls, help them learn and grow, and watch them finally get to have some fun.  

Back: Theresa, Abbi
Front: Gifty, Sarah, Madeline
Theresa loves playing with the younger kids, making others laugh, and school.

Abbigail likes giving massages, making bracelets, and helping with the little girls.

Gifty likes math, dancing, and being loud!

Sarah enjoys coloring, playing with people’s hair, and cooking.

Madeline enjoys reading, spending time with her friends, and singing.

Thank you so much for following along and allowing us to brag about our wonderful roommates. Hopefully it will help to have a face with a name, as I can guarantee that blogging about these kids will not stop here!

Our work with school is just beginning so please continue to follow our journey and spread the word about what we are doing. If you want more information on any of these amazing kids, the work we are doing, or feel called to make a donation or support the school in some capacity please email us at or select the donation link on the right.

We can’t thank you all enough for the support we’ve received during our three weeks here. We are truly blessed to have such amazing friends and family and none of this would be possible without you all!


BONUS: Meet Patricia. Patricia gets the distinct privilege of waking us up everyday and making sure we remain awake during the day. We can often be heard telling Patricia to be quiet, especially at 4:00 am. Although we may not always show it, deep down we do love her!


Mary and I were talking with James, the man who is helping with the KCC farm, on the front porch the other day. We started talking about our families and I asked him how many siblings he had. He responded that he had 2 sisters and 5 brothers. He then asked me how many siblings I had and I responded I have one older sister. James smiled and then asked me how many blessings I had. I was confused by the question and of course asked him to repeat the question numerous times. He then rephrased his question and asked me how many brothers I have. I must have had the strangest look on my face because James immediately began to explain. I have to admit I did not really listen to his explanation because although the terms blessings is usually used to describe the boys I know that these children are all blessings in their own way. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female. I can think of an instant with each of these children that made me feel blessed to know them.

Kofi is a very bright pupil. He loves math, but seems to have ease when it comes to all subject areas. He enjoys being in school because he understands what he is learning and because he is the class clown. Kofi can get along with anyone and that includes his P5 teacher and classmates. I also enjoy observing in his class because I never know what he is going to say next! Kofi is also the captain of the mission center’s football (aka soccer) team. After school he can often be found out in front of the house juggling a ball and practicing his moves. When the other boys see him outside they run to join him for a little scrimmage. All around Kofi is an amazing kid and makes me smile everyday. He loves being active, spending time outside, and hanging out with his friends.

Samuel is the definition of a gentleman. There is no other way to describe him. When Mary and I first arrived at the mission center he was one of the kids who greeted us at our cab and immediately started helping us carry our bags inside. Till this day whenever Samuel sees us carrying something he always wants to help out by carrying it for us.  He even helped Mary and I wash some of our stinky dirty laundry just because! Samuel likes to spend a lot of his time drawing. He has made me a few pictures to hang in our room! He also draws pictures for kids in the house who have specific requests, but don’t want to draw it for themselves. Samuel is also very brilliant with beads. He has made numerous bracelets and rings for some of the volunteers! He has such a giving sprit. Samuel loves reading, playing basketball, and sharing his creative passion with others.

Kwame is quiet. He doesn’t have much to say unless he is passionate about something. I enjoy watching him cheer on his favorite soccer team on the television. He is also very animated when it comes to games. Kwame and a few of the other older boys love to play a board game that seems like a combination of trouble and Sorry! all in one. When he is playing he is usually calling out what number he wants to roll or taunting another boy if he happens to be winning. Kwame also enjoys being around his friends. Sometimes he will just sit and watch as Samuel or Obed draw a new picture. He likes to be part of the crowd. Although Kwame is quiet he has a way of showing you that he cares about you. Whether it be sneaking a hug or a note left with a beaded ring inside of it the kid can sure make you feel special! Kwame loves being one of the boys, playing games, and surprising people.

Justice is the watchman at the mission center. He is always walking around the compound checking to see that everything is running according to plan. If he finds something out of place he fixes it right on the spot. For example if a kid is crying he always knows what to say to them to make them smile or if he sees you looking for something chances are he will find it and deliver it to you before you even comprehend what is happening. Like Obed, Justice has a special connection with one of our little ones, Ester. She absolutely adores Justice and he enjoys making sure she is well taken care of. Wherever Justice is Ester is not far behind. Justice is also Rosmonds older brother. He has a kind heart and a gentle smile. Justice loves anything that challenges him, lending a helping hand on the farm, and making things with his hands.

Anita, like most of the older kids, is very helpful around the house. She makes sure that thing are in order and that the younger kids are following the rules. She is a great role model for Michelle and Theresa who she shares a room with. Anita will always greet you with a bear hug whenever she sees you walk into the room. She is quiet and out going all at the same time. Anita is a great dancer. Whenever I hear music I always look around the room to see what kind of movies Anita will be showcasing. If for some reason I look and cannot immediately find Anita I usually assume she is in the kitchen helping Auntie Comfort cook or in her room quietly reading. Anita loves reading before bedtime, helping with the baby girls, and dancing.
Jonathan was away in Kwahu with his mother when Mary and I first arrived at the mission center. He recently returned and it seems he brought a breath of fresh air with him. Everyone was very excited to see Jonathan when he arrived! All of the kids dropped whatever they were doing to join in chanting Jonathan’s name as they rushed toward him with open arms. I do not know Jonathan all that well, but I am excited to get to know him! He is obviously loved by all of the kids in the mission center. I can’t help but assume I will love him too! I will tell you what I have learned about Jonathan during this past week. He is very caring, polite, and hard working. He makes sure all of the boys in his room have their uniforms ironed for school and follow the house rules. This is especially helpful at bedtime! Every time I see him walking about the compound he always greets me as well as smiles. Finally he is very hard working inside the classroom and outside the classroom. Whether it is rewriting his notes from school that day or practicing his soccer moves, he puts all of his energy in the task in front of him. Jonathan loves science, soccer, and being surrounded by his peers.

We are excited to continue to get to know these unique and loving children over the next couple months. Stay tuned to meet some more of our amazing children!

Please continue to follow us on this journey and share what we are doing. We are always more than willing to answer questions or give more information. If you feel compelled to make a donation or support the school in some other capacity please either email us at or visit Kingdom Cares International.

Peace and Blessing,

| Anna |

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Boys will be Boys!

Don’t let these next five boys we introduce you to fool you. They may be a little bit older, but that doesn’t stop them from having some of the kindest hearts I have ever seen. These are the ones who sneak hugs and snuggles when the others aren’t looking and keep everyone around them smiling and laughing.

Bless is one of those kids who seems to be able to get along with anyone. In my two plus weeks at the mission center, I think I have seen him at one point another interacting kindly with each and every one of the staff members and other kids. Bless always has a smile on his face and has a laugh that is absolutely contagious. He is always looking out for others and does things like making sure everyone else has food before he eats. Bless is also a hard worker. He can often be found asking a volunteer to read with him or practicing his writing. Bless enjoys making beaded jewelry, helping around the mission center, and spending time with others!

Kingsley is a very funny kid. He has made me laugh on many different occasions including when I asked him where he wanted to take his picture and he just went and hopped on Wisdom’s bike. This picture describes him perfectly. Kingsley is a free-spirit who usually isn’t in the same place for long. Kingsley loves to dance and pitches in a lot around the house. He is a passionate kid who wants to make sure things are done correctly. He, like many of the boys, enjoys playing soccer and spending time outside with his friends. Kingsley likes (pretending) to ride motorbikes, joking around, and working hard,

Joshua may not be the first person to speak up in a crowded room, but boy does he have a heart of gold. Joshua is always looking out for those around him and can often times be seen hand in hand with a little one. In the other hand, he tends to have one of the other volunteer’s electronics. He is either listening to music, watching some sort of video, or playing games.  I have never had to remind Joshua to share with the other kids and he makes sure that everyone gets a turn. When he’s not helping others or using technology, Joshua also enjoys drawing. He is an amazing artist and is frequently asking us for white paper and colors to perfect his skills. Joshua loves playing with others, sports, and smiling. 

Raymond can be spotted from anywhere due to the contagious smile that he always has and the bright clothing he likes to wear. This boy is all about the sports. From basketball to football to soccer, he enjoys playing just about anything that uses a ball. This means that he can usually be found anywhere except in front of the TV.  Raymond also succeeds in the classroom. He is a hard worker who enjoys learning and is on his best behavior at school (most of the time J.) Raymond enjoys sports, looking out for others, and being on the go.

If Obed cannot be found, it is usually because he is hiding someplace quiet with a piece of paper and a pencil. He loves to try to draw movie covers and pictures in books as accurately as he can. His favorite things to draw are superheroes and he is incredibly talented at it. When Obed is not drawing he spends the majority of his time making sure his princess and best friend baby Helena is well taken care of and fed. These two can usually be found hand in hand with Obed gladly obeying the toddler’s pointing directions and attempting to make sense of her gibberish.  Obed likes playing with his friends, taking care of others, and keeping the KCI Art Gallery full!

Stay tuned for more introductions! Please continue to follow our journey and spread the word about our incredible home. As always, if you would like to get involved, make a donation, or would like more information please email us at!


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Young, Wild, & Free

In the last blog post Mary introduced you to some more of the kids that we get to laugh with, love on, and sometimes cry with on a daily basis. I am here to introduce you to a few more of these kids! This week on Meet the KCI Mission Center Kids we have: Derrick, Theresa, Rosmond, Julius, and China. Each one of these kids has made me laugh or smile over these past couple of weeks. Each child has also received numerous kisses from me, but that is beside the point.

Derrick is someone who could easily be lost in a crowd. He is very quiet, but has the kindest eyes I have ever seen. He can usually be found lying on the front porch playing with something he found in the yard: rocks, a ball, sticks, etc. Derrick does have a very creative spirit. He loves to color and draw. We recently made a KCIMI Art Gallery in the family room where he has 2 of his pictures proudly displayed. I have also learned that he is protective of what he loves. I have taken a special interest in Derrick since he was more reserved when Mary and I arrived. These past two weeks have been filled with more cuddles than words, but recently he seems to be speaking to me more! Derrick likes quiet mornings, listening to a good book, and superheroes.

Theresa will be in class 1 this year and I have no doubt that she will become the class clown. This is a girl who is always full of energy and has a smile plastered on her face. She has such a playful way about her that she can get along with just about anyone. Like Michelle, Theresa loves to play ampe (a rock, paper, scissors like game). I swear that she could make up a game with just about anything! If you are looking for Theresa the one place you wont find her is asleep in her bed for a siesta. This is a girl who has a lot of spunk. Theresa loves to be surrounded by other children, running through the halls of the mission center, or climbing on one of the volunteers.

Rosmond is one of the biggest helpers in the house. When she walks by she is always carrying a baby, someone’s laundry, or dinner bowls. Rosmond is a very kind soul. She will do anything that is asked of her and have a smile on her face.  She is also very caring towards the three youngest members of the mission center. You can tell that Rosmond is going to make an amazing mother one day. She loves to read everything and anything she can get her hands on. She can be found practicing English on her mom, Comfort’s, computer. Rosmond enjoys playing with people’s hair, hanging out with the older girls, and lending a helping hand.

Julius “the coolius” is the newest member of our KCIMC family. He is most ticklish person in the house and he loves to laugh! His favorite game to play with the volunteers is real life guess who. He creeps up behind you, covers your eyes with his hands, and makes you yell out the kids name till you guess his name. If you are looking for Julius you can find him lurking around the kitchen, posted up in front of the TV, or cuddled up in Mary’s arms. Mary and Julius have a very special bond. Julius was very sick before coming to the mission center. Since arriving at the mission center he has started receiving the medicine that he needs daily. Mary is the lucky girl who gets to help Julius with the process. Even though Julius has a lot going on in his own life he always makes time for others. Julius likes sharing with the other kids in the mission center, joking around, and spreading his contagious laughter.

China was recently brought to the KCI mission center. For the past 5 years he has been living on the streets of Cape Coast. When I heard this I thought China would be a tough hearted kid, but I was happily mistaken. He is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. He loves to joke around. He is one of the only kids that can always get baby Ester to smile. The little kids in the house love to be around him. They feed off of his silliness. China is also a hard worker. Since he lived on the streets for so long he has not had a lot of formal schooling. Every chance we get China wants to sit down and practice his reading, spelling. letters, letter sounds, etc. He is excited to learn. I receive a note from China almost every day. Finally, China is a great helper. If one of the little ones is crying he is always there to help them up, sneak them food from the kitchen, or play with them. China loves to laugh, dance around when TV commercials come on, and take care of others.

We are excited to continue to get to know these unique and loving children over the next couple months. Stay tuned to meet some more of our amazing children!

Please continue to follow us on this journey and share what we are doing. We are always more than willing to answer questions or give more information. If you feel compelled to make a donation or support the school in some other capacity please either email us at or visit Kingdom Cares International.

Peace and Blessing,

| Anna |

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Introductions Continue...

In our last blog post Anna began introductions to the incredible kids we live with and get to snuggle day in and day out. We are learning new things about these kiddos everyday and they never cease to amaze me. For example, today we were looking for two of the older boys. When I finally found them I asked where they had been and they replied at school. However, school doesn’t start for another week so I asked who was teaching them and they simply stated that they were teaching each other. Their love for each other, love for learning, and love for life is truly special.

These five kiddos that you are about to meet have a love for life. Between the constant laughter, dancing, “carry me please,” and snuggles these kids always are either playing or in someone’s lap. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Michelle (class 1) is always smiles. She can usually be found playing with the other little girls or trying to snuggle her way into someone’s heart via their lap. Michelle, like many six year olds, likes things her way but she can often be found sharing with or carrying around the babies. Her favorite color is yellow and she wants to be a nurse when she grows up. Michelle likes English, playing ampe (a rock, paper, scissors like game), and laughing! 

Michelle’s older brother, Michael, is also in class 1. He loves finding a good book and snuggling with one of the volunteers, usually Anna, and being read to. This makes sense since when he was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up he decisively responded “teacher!” Most evenings Michael falls asleep in someone’s arms after playing all day long, preferably football (soccer). Michael likes school, playing with his friends, and making other people smile!

The dancing man, also known as Seth (class 2), is always making me laugh. Seth can usually be found somewhere near the TV because that means there is either a comfy place to sleep or music to dance to. Even a ten-second song in a commercial is enough time for him to get up and get those around him dancing. Apart from his dancing talents, Seth loves hanging out with the big boys especially when the drums (buckets) are out. The boy has rhythm! Seth wants to be a driver when he grows up. Seth likes the color red, playing soccer, and sleeping while standing up!

Bismark (class 2), is our future doctor. He is always letting us know if someone feels sick or needs a band-aid. He is relatively quiet and takes a little bit to warm up to you, but after that he doesn’t even want to get out of your lap for food. Bismark never seems to be far from Anna or me. This means he is usually there to lend a helping hand. He also loves thumb wars! Bismark enjoys the color red, watching TV, and reading books.

Bismark’s older brother, Essai, loves to play football. He is known for quickly wearing himself out during soccer games because he wants to be wherever the ball is. After football games is the only time Essai ever wants siesta time. Naturally, Essai wants to be a football player when he grows up. Although Essai spends much of his time with the older boys, but he will occasionally squeeze in a snuggle or two when he isn’t trying to be “cool.”  Essai likes winking, yellow, and math.

 Stay tuned for more introductions! Please continue to follow our journey and spread the word about our incredible home. As always, if you would like to get involved, make a donation, or would like more information please email us at!

With Love,